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Press Release - Friends of the Irish Environment -19th Sep 2018
Leaked memo shows business tactics to undermine climate change targets
BusinessEurope, the largest group of business interests in Europe – which includes Google and Facebook as well as IBEC– has advised its members to oppose the ‘new increases of ambition’ as the European Commission is considering whether to set more ambitious climate goals. The issue will be determined in December at the COP24 conference in Poland.
The memo, obtained by Greenpeace Europe, comes as a UN draft report due for publication in October is known to be calling for ‘rapid and far reaching’ changes.
BusinessEurope members are advised to use ‘the usual arguments of global playing field, we can not compensate for others, etc.’
It calls for companies to challenge the process itself, ‘such as the need for more transparency on the calculations, need for an impact assessment, risk of creating instability, etc.’ What is key, according to the 13 September memo, is to ‘minimise the issue, arguing instead that ‘we need stability to mobilise investment’.
BusinessEurope calls itself ‘the leading advocate for growth and competitiveness at European level, standing up for companies across the continent and campaigning on the issues that most influence their performance.’ The ‘Discussion Note’ is due to be discussed today at the lobby group’s Energy and Climate working group meeting in Brussels.
Friends of the Irish Environment, who are Judicially Reviewing both Ireland’s National Mitigation Plan and the fast-tracked permission to construct a fracked gas terminal on the River Shannon, have called on IBEC to oppose the organisation’s strategy. FIE is urging them instead to support reforms to Irish legislation that are preventing the country from making the transition to renewable energy.
‘IBEC need not lobby against increased targets for renewable energy in Ireland – all they have to do is ensure that the Government makes no move to remove the legal roadblocks that are preventing the shift to sustainable development. These include outdated restrictions on the domestic use of solar energy (as well as a failure to produce guidelines for more expansive projects) a lack of legislation to allow off shore windfarms, a failure to update the Guidelines on land based windfarms, and plans to lock Ireland into fossil fuels through the construction of a Liquid Natural Gas terminal on the Shannon.
FIE Director Tony Lowes said. ‘BusinessEurope can rest assured that Ireland poses no threats to their agenda’.
Contact: Tony Lowes 353 (0)27 74771 / 353 (0)87 2176316
Daithí Ó hÉalaithe (Irish language) +353 (0)87 6178852
URL for Businesseurope memo
Letter to IBEC
19 September 2018
Dear Mr.McCoy –
We urge you to oppose at today’s meeting of Businesseurope Energy and Climate Change Working Group the memo of 13 September in which you are advised to challenge the new targets proposed by EU Climate and Energy Commissioner Arias Canete.
The future of not only Ireland but all other countries depends not on further delaying the necessary actions to control climate change, but rather on ensuring that the new agenda is adopted as rapidly as possible to ensure a sustainable future.
We urge you to address instead the failures in governance which, for example, have prevented Ireland from taking advantage of the opportunities for off shore wind energy and developing solar power, while proposing to lock the country further into fossil fuels through the construction of a natural gas terminal.
Tony Lowes, Director